The PGA Tour will be in Illinois this week for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club. I need a good week of picks and I think I’ve got just the group to get it done.
Will Jordan Spieth Play Well?
I will be disappointed if Spieth misses another cut. It is a terrible way to end a great season. He’s just not sharp right now and he’s got to hit the ball more consistently. He’s still the best putter in the game and can grind out decent scores when he’s hitting it poorly. He’s been streaky off the tee lately and just hasn’t been able to find a rhythm. I think part of his issue is playing so much that he’s bound to be exhausted and he likely got a little complacent. He achieved so much this season and reached #1 in the OWGR.
One quick note I need to make. I do worry about the longevity of his swing and the toll a full season will take on him going forward. He has a very unusual move on the downswing. He rolls his weight into his left ankle and the inside of his left foot will rise off the ground. Nick Faldo, obviously one of the most successful players in golf, has mentioned this several times. The move would make it is to loose your consistency. He has a natural swing and is not overly technical. I don’t think he comes close to having one of the best swings on tour, but it’s not about what works for everyone else. I do think he’ll eventually have to calm down the move with his left foot and ankle as he ages.
How Will Taylormade’s Newest Driver Perform?
The newest driver from Taylormade is now available to the masses. The M1 Driver will be in plenty of players bags this weekend so I’ll be interested to see how they fair. I know that Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson will be using it. Dustin Johnson is the longest player on the PGA Tour and I don’t think any new equipment will change that. I will be interested to see if Jason Day switches this week. He won several times with the R15 so I doubt he’s in any hurry to leave that club.
Which Players Will Contend?
This week the BMW is going back to the site of the 2013 BMW Championship. I always look to see the results from a tournament at a prior course. It is important to see how certain players perform at a given location. Zach Johnson won in 2013 and I think he’s obviously going to have some good memories.
This week I’m taking the following players: Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, and Matt Jones. I also considered taking Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker.
McIlroy is an obvious choice. He hasn’t played much and that showed early in the last tournament. He played well on Sunday and I think he’s probably as fresh as anyone mentally. He also has plenty of motivation. I would imagine he views the media’s love affair with Spieth, Day, and Fowler as a threat to his reign as the sport’s best player. McIlroy has plenty of motivation and I think the rust has been shaken off by now.
Day is still playing at a rare pace. He is in the zone and it would be a mistake not to take him. Johnson won in 2013 and he’s a gritty player. He’s beloved in that area of the country and I expect him to have the crowd’s support.
Rickie Fowler is playing quite well. He won his last start and has had a good year. I think he’ll continue to play well and make people care less about his crazy, orange clothes. Fowler was once the most overrated guy on tour, but that is no longer the case. He’s a star right now and I think he could get it done this week.
Sergio Garcia has played this tournament quite well over the last few years. He’s not played in a PGA Tour event since the PGA Championship. In fact, he’s only played in 14 PGA events this season. He has played several events on the European Tour, which is common for most European players (even Rory McIlroy). Garcia has not been quite as accurate off the tee this season, hitting a little less than 60% of possible fairways. He remains, however, one of the best in the game from tee-to-green strokes gained (9th overall). He’ll need a hot putter to win this week.
Matt Jones played well here in 2013. He’s an Aussie, so you already know he can handle adversity. Australia is home to the great white. That’s something that Jason Day knows about too.
Who Will Win?
I’ll go with Jason Day this week. He finished just three shots back in 2013 and he’s playing the best golf of his life. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of my picks made it happen this week though. I think there is a legitimate reason that every player I mentioned could come away with a victory on Sunday.